Organ transplant can often be the only treatment for end-stage organ failure. Though it’s often the last resort, it may be the best way to save a patient’s life.
Before any type of major procedure, patients and their families have many questions about how the procedure will go, recovery time, what they can expect and prognosis after surgery. With transplant surgery there are even more factors to consider with finding a suitable donor.
At the Transplant Institute, patients come from across America for our services. Our program was ranked the fourth largest liver transplant country for volume and outcomes. We understand that you have many questions and we are here to help!
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:
What is the need for organ donors?
In America there are more than 123,000 people in need of an organ transplant. In fact, every 30 minutes someone is added to the waiting list.
Who can become a donor?
All individuals can indicate their intent to donate. There are no age limitations on who can donate. Whether you can donate depends more on physical condition rather than age.
What factors are considered in organ matching?
Many different medical characteristics are considered. The specific criteria differs depending on the organ, but matching criteria generally includes:
- Blood type and size of the organ
- Time spent awaiting a transplant
- Relative distance between donor and recipient
How do family and friends know when it’s time to consider kidney donation?
When a patient loses 90-95 percent of kidney function, it is considered End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). This is when life-saving treatment is needed. Treatment can include dialysis; however, a kidney transplant can be a long-term solution.
What is living donation?
There aren’t enough organs donated by deceased donors to meet all the needs of patients awaiting organ transplants. Transplant teams throughout the country have developed new techniques and procedures to save more patients’ lives through living donor transplants. Now organ donors can be living individuals. Living donation is an option for kidney transplants.
Which diseases are treated by liver transplantation?
Many diseases may interfere with the liver’s function and threaten the life of the patient. Cirrhosis, early stage liver cancer, biliary atresia or acute hepatic necrosis could be possible reasons for liver failure in adults. These are all viable reasons for a transplant. Liver tumors that start in the liver that have not spread to other organs can be cured by transplantation.
If the liver is not failing, treating the complications may be the only course of action necessary and, in many cases, wouldn’t require a liver transplant.
What health risks are associated with being a donor?
Your medical teams will discuss all health risks with you. The risks of donation are similar to any major surgery. Research indicates that kidney donation does not change life expectancy or interfere with having a normal, active lifestyle.
The Transplant Institute is nationally recognized leader in organ transplant. We specialize in liver transplant, kidney transplant, pancreas transplant and kidney-pancreas transplant.